Most Innovative Development by an Association

Council of British Chambers of Commerce in Europe – COBCOE Connects B2B digital platform for member network

COBCOE believes that the future success of its member chambers will be determined by their strategic outlook to develop into major organisations that are well-respected, influential and in-tune with the needs of their members.

To help chambers transform into current, effective providers of valuable business development tools for members, COBCOE with its development team have created a digital B2B platform for business growth called COBCOE Connects, utilising the wealth of contacts within the COBCOE network to help businesses develop by finding new contacts in new markets irrespective of barriers, boundaries and borders; an international vehicle for driving global trade and business via a known and trusted environment offered by chambers of commerce and other business associations in the COBCOE network.


Institution of Lighting Professionals – Subscription Renewal Poems

The Institution of Lighting Professionals
From baby boomers to young millennials
We have around two thousand loyal supporters
Improving the world for our sons and our daughters
We charge a reasonable membership fee
To fund our ambitions, our reason to be
Every twelve months, they must pay us again
And this once was a source of considerable pain
Our membership year starts each New Year’s Day
Such a horrible time to ask people to pay
With post-Christmas bills and the January blues
It’s an unwelcome time to ask for our dues
So staff put their minds to it and came up with a plan
Which has been a success ever since we began
We can’t alter the date so we try to be funny
When we send requests for our dear members’ money
Our simple concept garners heaps of goodwill:
We send out a poem along with their bill
You might think it’s simple or frightfully crass
But we think the difference it makes is top class
Our stats show clearly this is time well spent
Lapses decreased by thirty one percent
Best Member Comms of the 21st century?
We’ll keep fingers firmly crossed for our entry!


International Compliance Association – ICA Advanced Certificate in Practical Customer Due Diligence

The ICA Advanced Certificate in Practical Customer Due Diligence doesn’t just keep the pace, it sets the pace as the only practical professional qualification in this fast-evolving area of financial crime risk.


National Housing Federation – Creating our Future innovation programme

For over a hundred and fifty years housing associations have adapted to a changing world, finding new ways to ensure everyone in the country can live in a quality home that they can afford. Innovation has always been important, but rarely has it been more urgent than today. Against that backdrop the National Housing Federation, the trade body for England’s housing associations, launched Creating our Future – a ground breaking innovation programme to nurture talent and new ideas across the housing association sector.

More than 400 people from over 200 housing associations have participated in this ambitious year long process. This included Ideas Labs to crowdsource hundreds of new ideas, a three-day Future Hack to work those up into initial prototypes and the Greenhouse to make them real thought a 16-week full-time incubation programme.

This is the first time social innovation has ever been attempted at a sector-wide scale.


Research Quality Association – RQA Board Restructuring

Boards play a vital role in the ongoing success of Not-for-Profit organisations, providing strategy and purpose, overseeing finances and performance, and ensuring governance and ethics. Ineffective Boards can hinder the work of the organisation.

When I joined the RQA, I learned that in the previous year the Association had: posted a loss (£80,000), reduced its product portfolio (by 20%), reported a downturn in membership (by 4%), and made a £230,000 investment in CRM.

I researched the work that the 17 Board members were undertaking; from this short voyage of discovery I
uncovered a fundamental need to restructure the Board and to redefine its purpose.

In reiterating, to the Board, the Articles of Association and the responsibilities of Company Directors, two of its members resigned. I presented an alternative business model where a smaller Board had a strategic role, and a new Management Committee had a defined operational role. The revised model was accepted unanimously. At the following AGM, ten Board Members resigned.

The reduction of the Board size was an innovative development because it pushed the boundaries of the constitution, it forced swiftness of action, and led to a leaner Board that focuses on strategy and performance.


The European Specialist Sports Nutrition Alliance – Working to improve consumer safety and the reputation of the industry

The sports nutrition sector has seen its fare share of negative press over the years, despite the fact that the vast majority of the industry complies with the strict laws put in place for the protection of the public. Unfortunately, a minority of irresponsible companies persist in selling illegal products, preying on consumer ignorance and the lack of resources faced by enforcement authorities – and it is this which puts the public at risk and gives our industry a negative reputation. As the industry trade association and therefore representative, we decided to tackle this issue by taking the responsibility for the removal of these non-compliant products ourselves, as well as taking on the task of communicating directly with the public, educating the sports nutrition consumer on what they should be using. Along the way we’ve flagged over 400 potentially dangerous products, forming and cultivating crucial relationships with regulatory bodies and enforcement authorities across the continent – a first for such a trade association – ultimately protecting the integrity of our industry and the safety of our consumers.


The Law Society of Scotland – The Lawscot Foundation

In spite of there being no undergraduate tuition fees in Scotland, the numbers of lower socio-economic groups commencing university is significantly lower than elsewhere in the UK, and law is particularly poorly represented. We don’t want the Scottish legal profession to become a profession which can only be accessed by those with the financial means to qualify. The Lawscot Foundation has been set up not only to provide direct financial assistance but also a crucial mentoring scheme which links the students with graduates and experienced solicitors to offer guidance, advice, support and encouragement.

The Lawscot Foundation is a Scottish Charitable Incorporated Organisation (SCIO) registered with OSCR.

The first students have started to receive support from the recently launched Lawscot Foundation. The eight school pupils, who have all had offers to study law at Scottish universities and are facing financial difficulties, are the first to be offered financial and mentoring support from the charity. It aims to help them as they study for an LLB degree and/or the Diploma in Professional Legal Practice and forms a key part of our work to create a more diverse legal profession.